3D Hominin Lab

This lab provides a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to explore hominin evolution using 3D models. I’ve been using a version of this lab since the fall semester of 2017 at the University of Central Florida. The lab is divided into two parts. The first portion requires students to explore 3D models of hominin fossils created and uploaded to Sketchfab. The second portion requires them to use their notes from these comparisons and complete a quiz (which can be offered in-class or online). The lab is designed specifically for introductory courses with high enrollments. My sections typically have between 150-300 students. (more…)

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Disaster Anthropology & HSOHP

Disaster Anthropology is a rapidly growing aspect of anthropology’s applied/engaged focus. This approach directs our attention to the ways risk and vulnerability are disproportionately experienced by cultures and societies during disaster events. It also offers ethnographically-based solutions to reconnecting local victims with non-local agencies before, during, and following such events (e.g., hurricanes, firestorms, earthquakes, reactor meltdowns). This post includes a web map and links to oral histories collected as part of my 2013 Disaster Anthropology course offered at Monmouth University, in preparation for me offering this course at the University of Central Florida in fall 2018. (more…)

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Social Complexity: The Game!

I’m a long-time fan of games – card games, board games, and video games. I suppose this is an increasingly common thing as we live in a golden age for indie games. This is as true for board and card games as it is for video games. Recently, I began working on a game concept and design to simulate the ways human groups of differing social complexity might interact in time and space. Thus, Social Complexity: The Game was born. (more…)

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Traveling While Black in 1900s USA

UPDATE (10/29/2015) – Scroll to the bottom of this post for an interactive map.

The recent announcement that the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has digitized their Green Book collection is exciting news. Published between 1936 and 1966, these books provided a growing African American middle class with useful guides for navigating Jim Crow America. The digitization of these books reminds me of a 1942 Afro-American Travel Map that I came across a few weeks ago. This map conveys much of the same information as the Green Books. (more…)

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IQ-GIS and Historical Archaeology

This post relates some thoughts on the combination of GIS and game engines for historical archaeology. This approach examines virtual world environments as a type of 3D GIS allowing users to move through space while simultaneously interacting with various data. This immersive, qualitative GIS (IQ-GIS) supports the display and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data. While a complete prototype is still some months away, here’s a sneak peak! This post also forces me to cogently express my thoughts for a few upcoming grant proposals. e415 (more…)

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Virtual Archaeology to teach Historical Archaeology

The use of digital technologies for visualizing past environments is experiencing something of a renaissance. This is due to dropping costs of hardware and an increase in the intuitive usability of 3D/virtual environments. The ability to deliver interactive content via the internet (a.k.a. Web 2.0) provides new ways of sharing research wider audiences. These developments also provide exciting pedagogical potentials. This post discusses how my teaching of historical archaeology benefits from these emerging technologies. Specifically, the use of a virtual world environment to explore historical architecture as described in James Deetz’s In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life. (more…)

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Visualizing NJ Property Value

This post concerns the visualization of property values. I am working on this for an upcoming project on the African American experience in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and particularly the 1970 riot. Part of this research focuses on the socioeconomic experiences (e.g., access to property ownership, property values) of various groups ithroughout the 20th century. Property ownership remains part of the “American Dream” and lured African Americans to many northern locations, places promising a more equitable society. A promised often denied. (more…)

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